Chaga mushroom (nonotus obliquus)is a parasitic fungus on birch trees. Since the 16th century, chaga mushroom has been used as folk medicine in the northern part of the Eurasia region, especially Russia.
For a nutritious, powerful drink: Add one piece (about the size of chestnut) of Canadian chaga mushroom to 4-6 cups(1-1.5L) of boiled hot water. Steep for 6 hours. Keep over 80’c Consume the tea within 3 days, and discard after 3 days.
Consuming chaga mushrooms may magnify the effects of anticoagulant medications such as aspirin and warfarin. This raises your risk for bleeding and bruising. The active constituents in the mushroom are a combination of triterpenes, including sterols, betulinic acid and polysaccharides, similar to those in the Reishi mushroom, which also raises bleeding risk when taken with anticoagulant or anti-platelet medicines.
Chaga mushrooms also interact with diabetes medicines like insulin, raising your risk for hypoglycemia, or blood sugar levels that fall too low. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include shakiness, hunger, confusion, dizziness, feeling weak or anxious, and difficulty speaking.
The chaga mushroom, like many other mushrooms, is rich in beta glucans. These have immunomodulating activities.Beta glucans are of interest because they bind to complement receptor 3, or CR3. This allows immune cells in your body to recognize cancer cells as “non-self,” which theoretically can trigger cellular death of the cancer cells. Though the side effects of this mushroom are not well studied, other mushrooms that contain beta glucans, such as the Reishi mushroom, can cause a dry mouth and throat, nosebleeds, itchiness, an upset stomach and bloody stools, according to “The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide,” by George T. Grossberg and Barry Fox.